Housing 'legend' Bob Gillis retires
Published by Georgina Pickerill for HouseMark Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
We are sad to announce the retirement on 14 December of Bob Gillis, HouseMark assistant director of customer relations after 10 years of wonderful service for the company. Bob has played a crucial role in building and sustaining HouseMark membership to its present level of 960 member organisations across the UK.
In particular, Bob introduced and managed the HouseMark performance improvement clubs which now operate across the UK three times per year, modifying the business model from online to people-centred services. Bob has also played a key role in developing our ‘affiliate members’ offer for smaller housing associations – delivered with our partners Skills and Projects.
Bob joined HouseMark in 2002 from the Chartered Institute of Housing where he worked for 14 years as deputy in the then CIH Leeds office and later as training manager and business development manager. Prior to that Bob had worked for 19 years in local authority housing for a range of councils such as Barnsley and Rotherham.
HouseMark Chief Executive Ross Fraser said:
“For many people, Bob has been the face of HouseMark over the last decade. Whether running our performance clubs, managing our stand at conferences, dealing with member issues or problems or sourcing speakers and chairing our own workshops, Bob has always been our ‘go to’ guy.
His biggest asset, however, is the legion of contacts and scores of genuine friends that Bob has throughout the housing sector in the UK and who form a core part of the HouseMark membership.
Everybody loves Bob. He has that mercurial skill of being able to talk to politicians, government officials, chief executives and housing trainees on an equal basis. They say that Bill Clinton’s greatest skill was to make the person he was talking to feel like they were the most important person in the world. That’s how Bob made people in housing feel. He is a genuine legend and we will miss him terribly.”
Bob Gillis said:
“I have been very lucky to be able to pursue my chosen career of “housing” for 40 years, but the time has now come to hand on the baton (so to speak), and the stewardship of my legacy at HouseMark to a younger person, in order that I can spend more quality time with my wife and son, and devote my energies to the other great loves of my life, Sheffield Wednesday FC, bird watching, and rock music.
Finally, housing will not be seeing the last of me just yet, as I hope to put my vast knowledge and experience in the service to good use with the CIH at regional level”